From October 27 – 29, 2021, the American Society of Clinical Pathologists hosted a concurrent LIVE and Virtual conference. The folks who attended LIVE, enjoyed the company of colleagues, vendors and friends that have not seen since the 2020 pandemic began. The folks in the live session CHAT enjoyed the comradery, banter and thoughtful commentary.
Kudos to the ASCP planning committee as they were very aware of the attendee experience and the COVID-19 exposure risks. They took as many safety precautions as was possible. (this attendee felt very safe in the LIVE environment!)
Proof of vaccination or a recent COVID-19 test: Attendees needed to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test prior to getting their attendee packet. Kudos to ASCP for using the CLEAR app so attendees could load all vaccination information prior to arriving. The generated barcode was then used at the registration desk which sped up the registration process.
Wrist band: Attendees could opt to wear a color-coded wrist band to indicate the level of interaction the attendee would like to have with others. Red band: no contact-please stay 6 feet away - Yellow band: elbows only-still being cautious - Green band: hi-fives and handshakes; frequent hand washing. (this attendee opted for a green band!)
Key Messages from the 2021 ASCP LIVE Conference
Keeping and retaining staff is still one of the most important missions for laboratories across the country. Many are thinking outside of the box to attract more future employees such as a hosting a summer immersion program to expose high school students (ages 14-17) to the laboratory field. They are also offering scholarships, grants and investing in STEM programs. One facility is also developing an accredited phlebotomy program. Those that have a medical laboratory science program host a graduate MLS reunion with open house to tour the laboratory. One thing is certain, laboratories must think outside of the box to attract and retain the workforce for tomorrow.
The audience consisted of pathologists, administrators, phlebotomists, medical laboratory scientists, vendors with varying levels of experience. There was a “something” for everybody who attended and in discussions with others, all were deemed appropriate and interesting. Since we were in Boston, MA, the special event of the conference was visiting a special Fenway Park experience for an evening of food, music and laughter.
Be ready for an awesome celebration next year. More details will be coming directly from ASCP but next year is going to be one worthy of a party!